NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Some Cheerful Trends In Society

March 9, 1999

Despite the drumbeat of complaints that American society faces a host of problems, there is some positive news out there, optimists remind us.

Here are a few of the positive trends gleaned from government statistics:

  • Teen sexual activity fell by 11 percent from 1991 to 1997, and the abortion rate has hit a 20-year low.
  • The rate of out-of-wedlock births among black women has plunged to its lowest level in 40 years.
  • Welfare rolls have been cut in half over the last six years, and for the first time since 1969, less than 4 percent of the population is on welfare.
  • Violent crime has dropped by one-third since the mid- 1980s, hitting a record low last year -- with inner cities reporting the biggest improvements.

Moreover, in 1996 the number of AIDS cases dropped for the first time in the 16-year history of the disease -- and then dropped again in 1997.

Source: Editorial, "Post-Virtuous America?" Investor's Business Daily, March 9, 1999.


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